Webb to raise the ton   9 Aug 2006

WARRIORS: Fullback Brent Webb will make his 100th National Rugby League appearance when his New Zealand Warriors face the North Queensland Cowboys in Auckland this Saturday.

An injury-enforced two-match absence had delayed the 25-year-old’s bid to reach his century before he finishes his five-year stay in Auckland to join English Super League club Leeds.

He missed the losses against Parramatta and Penrith but the Kiwis international returned for the narrow defeat of Cronulla on August 5.

It enables him to achieve his milestone in front of a home crowd this Saturday and against a previous club.

Webb, born in Cairns and raised on the tiny Thursday Island, was a Cowboys junior before finding his way to the Warriors via Queensland Cup side Brisbane Wests.

"It’s nice for Webby to reach this mark before finishing up and heading to England," coach Ivan Cleary said.

"He’d been playing really well for us when we lost him for Parramatta match.

"We missed his experience that night and again when we faced Penrith but he made a big difference coming back into the side against the Sharks last weekend."

Webb becomes the club’s 11th centurion.

He made the first of his 99 appearances against Newcastle in April 1, 2002, and has gone on to score 202 points for the club from 37 tries and 27 goals.

Only Stacey Jones (75 tries), Francis Meli (60), Clinton Toopi (57), Sean Hoppe (44) and Henry Fa’afili (38) top his try tally.

Ahead of him on the club’s roll of honour for appearances are Jones (238), Guttenbeil (166), Logan Swann (145), Wairangi Koopu (136), Jerry Seuseu (132), Toopi (129), Joe Vagana (116), Ali Lauitiiti (115), Meli (110) and Monty Betham (101).

Cleary has made just one change to the side named today to face the Cowboys.

Vice-captain Ruben Wiki returning from a one-match suspension which sees Evarn Tuimavave reverting to the interchange bench.

Guttenbeil (calf), captain Steve Price (eye), Koopu (shoulder) and centre Tony Martin (neck) all came out of the Cronulla match with injury complaints but a final decision on their fitness won’t be made until later this week.

Team: Brent Webb, Patrick Ah Van, Tony Martin, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Grant Rovelli, Ruben Wiki, Nathan Fien, Steve Price (captain), Awen Guttenbeil, Wairangi Koopu, Louis Anderson. Interchange (one to be omitted): George Gatis, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Micheal Luck, Sam Rapira.

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